May 29, 2006
You may have to be a parent to appreciate this post, so just a warning. I woke up on this Memorial Day morning with my four year old daughter in bed next to me, and she had found a tiny little feather (maybe out of a pillow or something). She was holding this feather, and just examining it and looking at it closely and scrupulously, as only a four year old can. Then, slowly, she pulled it close to her mouth, and holding it tight, she blew it to see how the feathers would react. She looked at it again, then she blew it again. Over and over again she blew the little feather. How great to be four years old. Everything is new. Everything is exciting. Nothing is impossible- it is all just one big experiment.
Now, as I sit with my kids at the table next to me eating their breakfast (my son with his Frosted Flakes and my daughter with her Lucky Charms), my daughter is waving her spoon over her bananna peel saying "spoon spoon can make it into a witch" while my son is asking me about werewolves. We watched Harry Potter last night. Go figure. Read the rest of this entry »
I receive mailings from ETSS as an entering student. I really liked this sermon as it discusses the need for community and partnership in the church in a way that I think is very helpful.
The Commencement Sermon by J. David Grizzle, member of the ETSS Board of Trustees and Senior Vice-president — Customer Experience — Continental Airlines, Houston, Texas — given at the 53rd Commencement of the Seminary of the Southwest at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas, on May 16, 2006
There are No Solo Practitioners in the Kingdom of God
Arriving from Lithonia, Georgia for my freshman year at Harvard in 1971, I felt that I was finally occupying the place for which I had been born, clinching the destiny for which I had been created; and I intended to put my full-blooded redneck trailer-trash roots behind me as fast and as fully as possible. I was a product of Harvard's enlightened affirmative action program, and humiliatingly, I had ridden three separate Greyhound busses 28 hours from Atlanta to Cambridge to start college because we couldn't afford the price of an airplane ticket. But every action I took after that bus ride confirmed to me that I was where I should be, doing what I should do, and that I could handle things on my on from this point forward. It was not until 30 years after my arrival in Cambridge that I began to learn the power of working with others as teammates. That's what the Bible readings for today are about and what I want to discuss with you this morning.
Winter came early my freshman year. I had seen ice and sleet in Georgia but never true snow, and it seemed fitting to me to celebrate its arrival by joining a group of other freshmen boys (and that's really all we were) on a march to Radcliffe — about a mile away, where all the girls were, to pelt them with snowballs. When we got to Radcliffe, because I had the loudest mouth, I started barking out instructions about how we were going to charge North House where there actually were a lot of girls apparently waiting to be charged. I thought I had made my plans perfectly clear and, more importantly, I perceived that all the other boys had acquiesced in them, when I yelled "Charge" and went running across the Quad. I assumed that on my heels were dozens of inspired followers. So confident of this was I that it never dawned on me to look back at my supporters until I was within pelting range of the girls.
May 29, 2006
What exactly is "progressive Christianity" anyway? Well here is a group I know very little about who has defined it, in 8 very simple but articulate points. I stumbled across them a few years ago but the 8 points have stuck with me. Find them here.
By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who…
Have found an approach to God through the life and teachings of Jesus,
Recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God’s realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us,
Understand the sharing of bread and wine in Jesus’s name to be a representation of an ancient vision of God’s feast for all peoples,
Invite all people to participate in our community and worship life without insisting that they become like us in order to be acceptable (including but not limited to):
believers and agnostics,
conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
women and men,
those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
those of all races and cultures,
those of all classes and abilities,
those who hope for a better world and those who have lost hope; Read the rest of this entry »
May 29, 2006
I was reading another blog yesterday and stumbled across this link. I think it is highly informative and, when combined with the psychological perspective I offered a few days ago, describes precisely the path through which we travel– AND the place where so many of us get stuck in trying to lay out the “us” and the “them” when trying to categorize salvation. Note: The below article is quoted from the linked source, above, and is not my content.
James Fowler’s Stages of Faith in ProfileJames Fowler, Ph.D. is a developmental psychologist, a United Methodist layperson, and Director of the Center for Faith Development at Emory University. He is the premiere pioneer of the study of Faith development, and his book Stages of Faith (Harper & Row, 1981) is a ground-breaking classic. His work with Faith research is of great importance to the study of transpersonal psychology in that, he posits, faith (moreso than religion, or belief) “is the most fundamental category in the human quest for relation to transcendence.” (14) And the stages of faith development, regardless of where one finds them, or in what religious context, are amazingly uniform. Faith to Fowler is a holistic orientation, and is concerned with the individual’s relatedness to that which is universal, even though the religious context be relative, even arbitrary. Fowler identifies six stages through which pilgrim of faith invariably travels.
The first stage Fowler calls Intuitive-Projective faith. It usually occurs between the ages of three and seven, and is characterized by the psyche’s unprotected exposure to the Unconscious. Imagination runs wild in this stage, uninhibited by logic. It is the first step in self-awareness and when one absorbs one’s culture’s strong taboos. The advantages of this stage are the birth of imagination and the growing ability to grasp and unify one’s perception of reality. Stage one is also dangerous, though, in that the child’s imagination can be “possessed” by unrestrained images of terror and destruction from the unconscious, and the exploitation of the fertile imagination by enforced taboos and indoctrination. Read the rest of this entry »